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Yoursay: Palm oil exports to India – a self-inflicted wound by Dr M

YOURSAY | ‘Being a small nation we depend on every country, big or small, for support.’

Indian buyers slash M'sian palm oil purchases fearing duty hike - traders

Anonymous_b3cdcd05: Even a fish will not land in trouble if it keeps its big mouth shut.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad tells the international press that Malaysia wants to be friendly with all nations, but he does the opposite. He lacks diplomacy and unnecessarily gets into tangles and turns friendly nations away like the current fiasco with India.

The problem is his penchant to portray himself as race and religion champion at home that he gets carried away on the international stage.

Why are we in conflict with India, which is currently the largest purchaser of our refined palm oil?

What has the Kashmir conflict to do with us? As it is, we have got on the wrong side with India over wanted fugitive Zakir Naik. Why was it necessary to again snub and rub them the wrong way on Kashmir?

Indeed, Mahathir's uncalled Kashmir bungle cannot be glossed over the usual way, whatever his excuse. It will cost us heavily and a lesson to the man at the centre not to take the Indians for granted.

Anonymous 770241447347646: What we feared is already becoming a reality. This step of India reducing their purchase of palm oil from Malaysia is going to have a major effect on our palm oil industry.

Being a small nation, we depend on every country, whether big or small, for support. We actually cannot snub or pass a negative remark against any nation.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok has been going all out to promote the use of oil palm locally and overseas. Much money has been spent on these trips and exhibitions promoting the usage of palm oil.

Now with a single negative statement, we have wiped out our biggest buyer of the commodity. How is this going to affect the players in the plantation industry and the nation? Only time will tell.

The damage can still be undone. We can still use our diplomatic channels to reach out to India. Nothing is impossible.

Mahathir must put in extra effort to build closer ties with India. India is a huge nation with a big population and a good relationship with them will benefit us more in many areas.

The ball is now in our court. How much we value this relationship will depend on our move. Over to you, Mahathir.

Cynic: Mahathir’s jaundiced eyes look at every global issue is based on race and religion. Yet knowing that, he is still fearful of certain countries.

He didn't make any remark about China's treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs because he is afraid that China, being a big country, would stomp on him hard.

But it didn't matter to him if he antagonises India, even though knowing that India could possibly retaliate on a commercial scale, like not buying our palm oil. A significant portion of our oil palm produce is bought by India and losing the trade would be catastrophic.

Mahathir should have pondered a few things about India before he opened his big mouth in support of Pakistan. India has not invaded Pakistan. It has simply secured its own territories from the clutches of terrorist organisations from Pakistan.

MA: Mahathir seems to have a finger in every pie when it comes to solving the world's woes. From the Palestianian issue to the Hong Kong protests and now, the India-Kashmir conflict.

But he does not seem to see the mud that is Malaysia. Solve your internal problems first, then we can boast to the world.

Malaysian-United: Yes, why look for trouble when there are already enough problems in our country as it is? Really "cari pasal" (looking for trouble), this old man. Because of his stupid oversized ego, he offends the half of the world.

Malaysia is a small nation and its economy fragile. We really can't afford to make any enemies, even more so with an important buyer of our number one agricultural produce.

Hasn't he heard of the term "diplomacy"? I really pity Teresa Kok who possibly has the most unenviable portfolio at a time of slumping prices and lacklustre demand for the commodity.

Muruga: India hasn't taken any decision to curtail or ban palm oil. The mere speculation of action is more damaging than action of added tax, just like the Sword of Damocles to totally stop the purchases of palm oil.

Mahathir also commented on China’s protege, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and also on US President Donald Trump. His children are billionaires so he doesn’t have to worry about them but he failed to care for the Felda settlers who are his vote bank as well as other smallholders.

This is not to mention listed plantation companies like TH Plantations, Felda Global Ventures, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) and Sime Darby Plantations.

Age and senility are affecting Mahathir’s ability to think rationally. Investments and tourism will be rattled too. He should gracefully do the right thing for the country and go.

Fernz: According to Indian media, New Delhi wants to avoid the problems that Beijing is facing - being seen as a big bully. So, the Indian government is likely to speak softly and carry a big stick. It doesn't want to overreact.

Besides, Malaysia is seen as a small country beset by so many internal problems on race and religion. In the immediate future, New Delhi expects Mahathir to go and Zakir Naik to be extradited. So, there is no point knocking Malaysia because of Mahathir.

Having said that, India prefers to buy crude palm oil and refine the commodity. So, Malaysia can always sell crude palm oil to India but the export earnings will be less. Malaysia can always set up palm oil refineries in India if New Delhi is willing to grant the licences.

Vijay47: As my friend Vasu would say, don’t be afraid, Malaysia, you also can hit back.

For starters, you can ban the import of Hindi films; that should teach Bollywood a thing or two – eat your heart out, Shah Rukh Khan!

If India wants to reduce its purchase of Malaysian palm oil. so what? It’s not a big deal as I am sure Zakir Naik can pick up the slack.

The cruncher would be when Malaysia stops buying Indian onions – that should leave New Delhi in tears!


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